Questions tagged [cultural-analysis]

Understanding the culture which an author wrote for/to is often key to understanding a text's original meaning.

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What are the differences between a synagogue and a temple?

I had actually considered these two to be the same thing. Probably because they are both religious institutions. Matthew 21:12-13 NKJV 12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all ...
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Biblical authors, Ancient Jewish/Hebrew and/or Early Christians Vs 21st Century Modern view when it comes to the interpretation of "idols"/"idolatry"

A lot of the Old Testament bible verses/passages use the terms "idol(s)"/"idolatry" within the context of -physical "carved image", (Exodus 20:3–6) -physical materials ...
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In Song 6:2, why does the Shulamite's beloved "gather lilies"?

In Solomon's Song of Songs, why does the Shulamaite's beloved "gather lilies"? The verse says the following (6:2, NKJV, emphasis added): My beloved has gone to his garden, To the beds of ...
The Editor's user avatar
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Seeking Resources on Hermeneutical Interpretation of Scripture Influenced by Egyptian Culture [closed]

I recently heard an interesting perspective from an Adventist Christian pastor and archaeologist regarding the potential influence of Egyptian culture on biblical scriptures. Specifically, he pointed ...
Humberto José Bortolossi's user avatar
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Why tear clothes, sprinkle head with ashes, and tear hair as a sign of humility, penitence, and repentance?

Often, in the Bible, people used to tear clothes, sprinkle their heads with ashes, and tear their hair as a sign of humility, penitence, and repentance. Few examples: Job 2:12 KJV And when they ...
Starnuto di topo's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
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Ammonites, Amorites, Amalekites, Moabites, Edomites, ... how many peoples were there?

Since the books of Exodus and Numbers a lot of peoples are referenced and the Judges, Saul and Samuel report a lot of battles and wars against Ammonites, Amorites, Amalekites, Moabites, Edomites, ...
Starnuto di topo's user avatar
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3 answers
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What is the meaning of "take up thy bed"?

John 5:8, 9 KJV 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: Matthew 9:6 NIV Get up, take your mat and go home....
Humberto José Bortolossi's user avatar
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1 answer
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What did the Israelites do with the foreign children in Deuteronomy 20:14?

This question is also related to Leviticus 25:44-46 and exodus 21:4. Could foreign children be born into slavery in Israel (like the children of Hebrew servants), or would they be made slaves if their ...
Amy's user avatar
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The importance of names in the bible [closed]

It seems that names are taken with special care in the Bible: THE THIRD COMMANDMENT:You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His ...
Humberto José Bortolossi's user avatar
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Was the use of the woman's hair to clean Jesus' feet considered an indecent act (Luke 7:36-50)?

As I was thinking about the cultural view of women's hair in the modern Middle East, and in the Ancient Near East too, it raised significant questions for me about the story in Luke 7:36-50 (I'm ...
Theodore Rein Jedlicka's user avatar
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4 answers
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Does Capitalism shape modern translations of the Ten Minas?

In Kenneth E. Bailey's book "Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes" he challenges common renderings of the Parable of the Ten Minas in Luke 19 (also called the Parable of the Pounds): "As ...
Steve can help's user avatar
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Is the statement "Leah had weak eyes" (Genesis 29:17) an indication that women at that time had their face covered where only their eyes showed?

In Genesis 2k9:17 the only specific part of the body mentioned is the eyes. Is this because everything else was covered up? “Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured” (KJV). ...
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Foot massage - is The Message right on Deut. 33:24; John 11:2; 12:3?

In the Message, some of the verses that normally describe foot washing are described as a foot massage (emphasis added): "Asher, best blessed of the sons! May he be the favorite of his brothers, ...
The Editor's user avatar
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Does Numbers 5:27 involve an induced miscarriage/abortion?

Recently, I have come across Numbers 5:27 being used to show that abortion is not wrong and, in fact, even was advocated to test against a woman committing adultery through a certain type of drink. In ...
The Editor's user avatar
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What are the exegetical options for the argument the Jews are making at John 5:18?

John 5:18 is "Because of this, the Jews tried all the harder to kill Him. Not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God." ...
Only True God's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
661 views

Why doesn’t Paul use a Greek word for “influence” in 1 Corinthians 15:33?

We read: “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”” ‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭15:33‬ ‭NKJV ‬‬One might assume that Paul means evil company can corrupt good habits, but people are in control ...
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Does 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 support my beliefs in head coverings?

I believe that any woman who prays without her head covered & looks up is disgraceful to God & any man who wears ANY kind of head covering & looks down while praying is disgraceful to God. ...
Cynthia Destefani's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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Did Saul believe that the spirit of Samuel was in Sheol?

Several questions have already been asked on 1 Samuel 28 (e.g. here, here & here), but none has had a focus on what Saul believed about Sheol. In 1 Samuel 28, the witch of En-dor describes Samuel ...
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What are the origins of the different elements present in the setting of the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31)?

Luke 16:19-31 (ESV): 19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, ...
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4 votes
6 answers
639 views

What are the theological implications of Paul's continuing identifying himself as a Pharisee in Acts 23:6-10 despite being an Apostle of Christ?

Acts 23:6-10 (ESV): 6 Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to ...
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Did the Apostle Paul, as a Pharisee, believe in disembodied spirits? Acts 23:6-10

Acts 23:6-10 (ESV): 6 Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to ...
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4 votes
6 answers
456 views

Did David and Saul have different afterlife theologies?

On the one hand, one could arguably say that David seemed to have believed that the dead were unconscious, based on what he said in Psalm 146:4 (YLT): His spirit goeth forth, he returneth to his ...
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2 votes
2 answers
683 views

What did the medium of En-dor mean by "god(s)" in 1 Samuel 28:13?

1 Samuel 28:12-14: 12 And the woman seeth Samuel, and crieth with a loud voice, and the woman speaketh unto Saul, saying, `Why hast thou deceived me -- and thou Saul?' 13 And the king saith to her, `...
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0 votes
2 answers
682 views

Why did Jesus' disciples believe in ghosts / disembodied spirits? [closed]

Luke 24:36-39 (NASB): 36 Now while they were telling these things, Jesus Himself suddenly stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be to you.” 37 But they were startled and frightened, and ...
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What is the biblical worldview of the arabs that Paul encountered in his three years from his conversion? [closed]

Did he encounter a view of God that was based on Abraham as the father of the Arabs apart from the Jews? Could God have been helping him to understand abrahamic covenant theology from the Arab ...
Gene's user avatar
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Does "men" (Greek, anthropos) refer specifically to "the Jews" in passages such as Matthew 10:17?

Matthew 10:17-18 reads (NKJV, emphasis mine): "But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for ...
The Editor's user avatar
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What does it mean to "divorce her quietly"?

To intentionally navigate towards Christmas, I've been following an Advent devotional plan. Today was considering Matthew 1:18-24 and meditate on how loving was Joseph's posture. Got particularly ...
Tiago Martins Peres's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
67 views

Why were the destitute in the dunghill?

The metaphor of lifting the poor from a dunghill (Psalm 113:7, 1 Sam 2:8) or sending the proud to the dunghill (Lamentations 4:5) is quite the visual. In most verses, אַשְׁפֹּת seems to be used more ...
CWilson's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
316 views

When Was Zechariah 10:10 Fulfilled?

I would love for someone to help me answer this question. The prophet Zechariah prophesied after the exile from Babylon and when the Jews were rebuilding the temple. Zechariah mentions that Jews from ...
Servant's user avatar
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9 votes
6 answers
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What does it mean to cast a shoe?

What is the cultural context of casting a shoe? Psalm 60:8: Moab is My washpot; Over Edom I will cast My shoe; Philistia, shout in triumph because of Me.”
0000's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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What kind of magic did Simon practice? Acts 8:9-24

Acts 8:9-24 (ESV) 9 But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. 10 They all paid ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Did people sat on mats in the bible era or mainly on chairs? [closed]

Did people sit on mats in the bible era (like some Arabic cultures nowadays) or they sat mainly on chairs?
Ubiquitous Student's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
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Is the church at the time of the book of James meeting in synagogues?

In James 2:2 (YTL) for if there may come into your synagogue a man with gold ring, in gay raiment, and there may come in also a poor man in vile raiment, or in ASV For if there come into your ...
Tiago Martins Peres's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
255 views

Luke 23:11 - What did Herod communicate when he sent Jesus back to Pilot in "splendid clothing?"

11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. 12 And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other ...
Austin's user avatar
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5 votes
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Does Song of Solomon 8:1 suggest that kissing before marriage was "despised" in Bible times?

Song of Solomon 8:1 reads thus (NKJV): Oh, that you were like my brother, Who nursed at my mother’s breasts! If I should find you outside, I would kiss you; I would not be despised. In other words, ...
The Editor's user avatar
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3 votes
5 answers
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Meaning of the Jews’ response in John 8:41?

John 8:41 (NASB) …They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” What was the intent/meaning behind these words? Did the Jews really view God as their Father, or was ...
Lilias Carmichael's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
372 views

Book of Esther's major theme is that God's people may have Unwillingly strayed away from God, but God is still Loving towards said people

I'm trying to approach the Book of Esther in the Bible in a holistic manner ( taking a bird's eye view ) of God's varying calibrated auspices of His chosen Israelite nation. Also I am taking into ...
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3 votes
4 answers
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What is the logic behind the Jews' reasoning which led them to spontaneously stone Stephen to death?

Acts 7:51-60 (ESV): 51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not ...
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15 votes
8 answers
2k views

How did Jewish people living under Roman rule understand the role of a Paraclete?

John 14:16 (DRB): And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. John 14:26 (DRB): But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will ...
Hold To The Rod's user avatar
9 votes
8 answers
2k views

What is the logic behind the Jews' reasoning which led them to conclude that Jesus was "making himself God" in John 10:22-39?

John 10:22-39 (ESV): 22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered ...
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7 votes
4 answers
3k views

What did Martha most likely mean by "the last day" in John 11:24?

John 11:22-27 (ESV): 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise ...
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1 vote
1 answer
2k views

How did the Jewish exorcists of Acts 19:13 cast out demons before they undertook to invoke the name of Jesus?

Acts 19:13 informs us about the existence of iterant Jewish exorcists who, inspired by Paul, decided to undertake the practice of invoking Jesus' name to cast out demons, probably because they wanted ...
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2 votes
2 answers
490 views

Are the multiple mentions of Gentiles attending synagogues on Sabbath in Acts evidence that the Gentiles are to keep the Sabbath?

Acts 13:42-48 (ESV) 42 As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. 43 And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
249 views

Who was attending the synagogues in Jesus times?

Were there only Jewish men, or women as well? Were there children? If so, of what age? 42 As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people repeatedly begged to have these things spoken to them the ...
TruthSeeker's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
197 views

Can history shed any light on the "secret arts" of the Egyptian magicians who turned their staffs into serpents?

Exodus 7:11-12 (ESV): 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. 12 For each man cast down his staff, and they ...
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6 votes
2 answers
3k views

explain the meaning of the "menstrual cloth" in Isaiah 30:22

What is the meaning of Isaiah 30:22 from the Hebrew? Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say ...
Mary Ellen's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
117 views

What did ancient mirrors look like?

In Exodus 38:8 (NASB) Moreover, he made the basin of bronze with its base of bronze, from the mirrors of the serving women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting. What did ancient mirrors ...
Tiago Martins Peres's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
873 views

Meaning of "at the feet of [rabbi]" in Luke 10 and Acts 22?

In Luke 10:39, Mary "sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching". A common reading seems to be that Mary was physically sitting at Jesus' feet listening to Jesus. See Was it unusual ...
whiskey92's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Does Hamor in Genesis 34:3 have double-meaning?

In Genesis 34:2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. the term "of Hamor" comes from H2544 / Chamowr ...
Tiago Martins Peres's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
408 views

Was it customary for the Ninevites to fast?

After Jonah preached to the Ninevites, they responded by proclaiming a fast. Jonah 3:5, 6 - And the Ninevites believed God. They proclaimed a fast and dressed in sackcloth, from the greatest of them ...
Theo's user avatar
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